Winter Treks in India-Best Winter Treks in India

Winter Treks in India-Best Winter Treks in India

Written by Shanu on 12-Oct-2019
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Exploring winter in the warmth of nature.

India is a vast country, rich in culture and blessed with a diverse topography to satiate the traveller in you.

Winter treks in India catapult you into a whole new world of fantasy; snowy landscapes, frozen lakes luminous in sunlight/moonlight, snow-drifted trees, lofty snow-capped peaks glittering beautifully; the panorama is magically surreal.

Let us explore which parts of the country offer unbeatable terrains for undertaking winter treks.

Best Winter Treks in India

winter treks in india

 

India boasts of some beautiful destinations for amazing winter treks. Though a bit challenging, winter treks offer rewarding perks like skiing on the snowy slopes, enjoying the warmth of bonfires and soaking in the crisp winter air. The best months to undertake the winter treks are from December till mid-April. These months offer the best scenic backdrops and amazingly beautiful panorama of snow blanketed landscapes. The temperatures vary from sub-zero to even minus 15 degrees- so Bravehearts don your layered clothing, thick winter jackets, snow boots, gloves, hat, and scarves, and you are all set for your winter rendezvous. Let's find where to head this winter for your escapade of adventure and thrill.

Winter Treks in Uttarakhand

The state of Uttarakhand, also called Devbhoomi or "The Land of Gods" is home to famous religious sites, unexplored terrains and remote villages nestled in the backdrop of majestic Himalayan peaks. It offers some of the best winter treks in the Himalayas. From trekking levels that vary from easy to difficult, the state of Uttarakhand is blessed with trekking terrains that suit the level of every trekker. Let's explore some exotic winter treks of Uttarakhand.

Kedarkantha Trek

trek to kedarkantha peak

 

Touted as the classic winter trek in himalayas, Kedarkantha is a wholesome package of fun and adventure. It is one of the easy winter treks in India to undertake, almost the whole trekking trail has gradual ascends and descends except for the last lap which is a steep uphill hike. Magical snow-bedded trails, snow- slopes, exotic flora and fauna, sacred lake "Juda ka Talab" (formed as a result of water droplets falling from Lord Shiva's bun), stunning campsites and a 360-degree view of the colossal mountain from Kedarkantha Summit, Kedarkantha trek offers everything a trekker can dream of. The godly peak of Swargarohini, believed to be the stairway to heaven is one of the glittering attractions of this trek. Kedarkantha makes for a perfect ski-destination in winters.

  • Altitude- 12,500 feet
  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Distance- 20 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start and end point- Sankri

Brahmatal Trek

brahmatal trek summit

 

Brahmatal trek floors you with the beauty of not one but two mountain lakes cradled in the most picturesque panorama of Himalayan mountain ranges. Lake Bekaltal, perched between the tall oak trees looks stunningly beautiful in its frozen beauty. Brahmatal or "The Lake of Lord Brahma" is shielded by grandiose Himalayan peaks and a lone oak tree overlooking the lake gives you perfect company in this locale of solitary bliss. The most beautiful campsites beside Bekaltal and Brahmatal are the main highlights of this trek. The Brahmatal summit flatters you with the front-seat view of grandiose Himalayan peaks which rise above 7,000 metres. The trek gets its name from Lord Brahma who is believed to have meditated on the banks of Brahmatal lake. You maneuver your way through ascending trails, steep slopes, moderate ascends and gradually descends while undertaking this magical winter trek in the Himalayas.

  • Altitude- 12,500 feet
  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to moderate
  • Distance- 30 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start and end point- Lohajung

Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari pass trek in winter

 

Also known as Lord Curzon Trail, Kuari Pass trek is an excellent trek for beginners. You trek along the trails surrounded by majestic peaks, open meadows, and tall trees of oak, deodar, maple, and chestnut. This moderate level trek transcends through gradual ascends and descends except for the final stretch of the trek where you are to cross a bridge floored with ice. The highlights of this trek are stunning views of the mountains of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Dronagiri, Chaukhamba, and Changbang. The confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag is one of the star attractions of the trek.

  • Altitude- 11,000 feet
  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Distance- 30 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start and end point- Haridwar

Nag Tibba Trek

 

This easy himalayan trek near Mussoorie is undertaken in the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas. Nag Tibba is a one-day trek, excellent for beginners. You enjoy the scenic vista of "The Queen of Hills", Mussoorie, learn the local culture at Pantwari village and visit the sacred Nag Tibba Temple. Camping by the side of the temple, enjoying the bonfire to beat the chill and scaling the Nag Tibba summit are the highlights of this trek. Nag Tibba summit treats you to scenic views of Himalayan ranges like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Gangotri and Kala Nag.

  • Altitude- 9,910 feet
  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy
  • Distance- 16 km
  • Duration- 2 days
  • Start and end point- Dehradun

Dayara Bugyal

 

Between the magical months of December to March, Dayara Bugyal gets transformed into a pristine meadow of snow. Such is the beauty of glittering snow at night that you will want to camp on a snow-bedded ground under the star-lit sky, surrounded by shimmering peaks of Bandarpooch, Kala Nag, Shrikhand Mahadev, Srikanth, and Gangotri. Each trail leading to Dyara Bugyal is uniquely beautiful. It is lined with snow-drifted oak forests and sprinkled with fresh snow. This 4-day trek takes you through some uphill hikes and easy descends to bring you to one of the most beautiful alpine meadows in India spread in an area of 28 square kilometres. The expansive meadow of Dyara Bugyal invites tourists for skiing from the whole country during winters.

  • Altitude- 12,300 feet
  • Region Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to Moderate
  • Distance- 29 km
  • Duration- 4 days
  • Start and end point- Barsu

Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Trek

 

This thrilling trek is dotted with adventure and interspersed with all the elements of a Himalayan Odyssey. You soothe your religious sentiments by trekking along the sacred rivers of Mandakini, Alaknanda, and Ganga. You revel in the beauty of Chopta aka "Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand", Deoria Tal lake, the sacred Tungnath Temple, Chandrashila summit and experience the scenic views of lofty mountain ranges of Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghanti, Dronagiri, Trishul, Kedar, Thayalsagar and Gangotri. The high altitude lake Deoria Tal offers a perfect camping site. Surrounded by a canopy of snow- drifted trees and the staggering peaks of Chaukhamba, Bandarpoonch, and Kedar, the beautiful lake is believed to be the bathing spot of all Devas.

The snow-covered rocky terrain of Chopta, the highest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva-Tunganath Temple, and finally the Chopta-Chandrashila summit offer a wholesome package of adventure.

The trekking route takes you along some abrupt climbs, rugged terrains and uphill hikes that require swift maneuvering during winters.

  • Altitude- 13,550 feet
  • Region Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate in spring, summer and fall season to difficult in winters
  • Distance- 15 km
  • Duration- 4 days
  • Start and end point- Haridwar

Winter treks in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh, the name literally translates to "The Region of Snow". The beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh is blessed with some pristine sites that offer picture-perfect trails for winter treks in India. Some of the famous winter treks of Himachal Pradesh are-

Prashar Lake Trek

frozen prashar lake

 

This marvellous trek traverses through the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh. The scenic mountain trails lined with dense forests keep you captivated. Beautiful views of Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and Kinnaur mountain ranges enthrall you throughout the trek. The beautiful Prashar Lake (aka Parashar Lake) cradled in the saucer-shaped valley amidst the Dhauladhar mountain range is a delight in winters. The frozen waters of the mountain lake shimmer in the sunlight, the snow-capped mountains shielding the lake are aglow with the magical hues of golden and orange at dawn and dusk. At night, the lake looks absolutely divine in the silver glow of the moonlight.

Another highlight of this trek is the 3-storey Pagoda shaped temple dedicated to the sage Parashar located on the banks of this lake. This sacred temple boasts of beautiful wooden architecture and continues to draw visitors all year long.

  • Altitude- 8,956 feet
  • Region- Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh
  • Trek level- Easy to moderate
  • Distance- 19 km
  • Duration- 2 days
  • Nearest airport- Bhuntar Airport, Kullu
  • Start and end point- Mandi

Kareri Lake Trek

kareri lake

 

A perfect weekend rendezvous is what Kareri trek is all about!

A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, effervescent mountain streams, expansive snowy meadows, diverse terrains, elegant villages, snow-capped peaks and dense alpine forests scattered with snow make Kareri Lake a fascinating winter trek. Kareri Lake trek is a perfect mix of gradual ascends, descends and steep hikes. It takes you to the quaint Kareri Village and to the shallow water Kareri Lake which looks stunning in its frigid form. This high altitude lake is formed as a result of melting glaciers from the surrounding Dhauladhar mountains. Surrounded by a blanket of snow, Kareri Lake campsite is 15 minutes walk from the main lake. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop nearby is the main attraction of the trek.

  • Altitude- 9,650 feet
  • Region- Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to Moderate
  • Distance- 26 km
  • Duration- 3 days
  • Start and end point- Dharamshala

Chandrakhani Pass Trek

chanderkhani pass

 

One of the most enchanting treks that takes you through the groves of pine, deodar, golden oak and cherry, Chandrakhani Pass is one of the most scenic passes of the country. You traverse along hidden trails meandering through the snow-drifted dense forests of fir and oak trees. The amazingly beautiful villages of Naggar and Rumsu and Chandrakhani Pass are the major attractions of this trek which is covered in the snow till the end of May. From the Chandrakhani Pass, you are treated to the awe-inspiring views of Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Barabangal, Hanuman Tibba, Parvati and Pir Panjal peaks. The trek is a mix of gradual ascends and steep uphill hikes. In addition to offering the most stunning visuals, Chandrakhani Pass is rooted deep in mythology. Legend has that Jamlu (the local deity of Malana) once carried the idols of Gods in a basket, a strong gust of wind blew the idols in different directions of the mountain peaks. For this reason, the peaks are known by the names of Hindu Gods and considered sacred.

  • Altitude- 12,010 feet
  • Trek Level- Easy in spring, summer, and fall, to moderate in winters
  • Region- Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh Himalayas
  • Distance- 21 km
  • Duration- 3 days
  • Start and end point- Patlikuhl

Winter treks in Sikkim

Sandakphu Trek

sandakphu trek

 

Also known as "Trekkers Wonderland", Sandakphu trek is one of the highest treks in West Bengal. The stunning trek journeys through Sikkim and Nepal. You explore the culture of two countries while enjoying the scenic views of Mount Everest, Mount Makalu and Mount Lhotse. The unexplored virgin landscape of this region covered with snow in winter months enthralls you. The star attraction of this trek is the crystal-clear view of Mount Kanchenjunga. At dawn and dusk, the magical hues of golden, red and orange bathe the icy summit of majestic Kanchenjunga in divine colours and the view is simply ethereal. "The Black Lake" or Kalipokhri encompassed by the colossal mountain ranges is also one of the highlights of this trek. The trek also treats you to the scenic peaks of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan in one single stretch.

  • Altitude- 11,941 feet
  • Trek Level- Moderate to difficult
  • Region- Darjeeling, West Bengal Himalayas
  • Distance- 47 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start and end point- New Jalpaiguri

Winter treks in Maharashtra

Winter treks in Maharashtra are fun! Just as the mercury dips adventure seekers pack their backpacks and head for some thrill. You don't require heavy clothing, just light sweaters/jackets, a pair of sturdy shoes and a right backpack to carry your stuff. Most of these can be covered in one day. The best months to undertake winter treks are December, January, and February. Let's explore some winter treks in Maharashtra.

Kalsubai Peak Trek

Also known as the "Everest of Maharashtra", Kalsubai Peak stands at an elevation of 5,400 feet. You trek through beautiful streams, pools, lush valleys amidst stunning mountain peaks. This one- day trek is one of the most challenging yet thrilling treks that you can even undertake during the night time. Kalsubai is the highest peak in Maharashtra, it is recommended that only experienced trekkers undertake the Kalsubai trek. Revel in the beauty of Western Ghats once you are at the top of the peak.

  • Altitude- 5,400 feet
  • Trek Level- Moderately difficult
  • Region- Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Distance- 6 km
  • Duration- 1 day
  • Start and end point- Baari, Maharashtra

Harishchandragad Fort Trek

harishchandragad fort trek

 

One of the most challenging treks of the Western Ghats, Harishchandragad Fort trek is a true test of your stamina and agility. The trek is recommended for experienced trekkers. It journeys along with rocky patches, rugged terrain, uphill ascends and tricky drops. Cobra's Hood or Konkankada summit is the star attraction of this trek. You camp at the summit point and are treated to an amazing vista of Saptatirtha Lake and Kedareshwar Temple. Exploring the Harishchandragad fort, trekking to Taramati peak and witnessing the beautiful sunrise and sunset at Cobra's Hood and Taramati peak are the unique highlights of the trek.

  • Altitude- 4,245 feet
  • Trek Level- Moderately difficult
  • Region- Pune, Maharashtra
  • Distance- 15 km
  • Duration- 1 day
  • Start and end point- Pune

Rajmachi Trek

waterfalls from rajmachi trek

 

This moderately challenging trek treats you to the flora of Rajmachi forests, stunning views of Sahyadri mountains, scenic waterfalls, streams, lush green paddy fields and to the beautiful twin forts of Shrivardhan and Manoranjan and Rajmachi lake. Watching the fireflies glow in the Rajmachi forest is a heavenly experience. Exploring the Kondhane Caves is also a highlight of this trek. Overnight stay at Rajmachi, discovering the local culture and finally visiting the Rajmachi fort at an elevation of 2,710 feet are unique features of the trek. Because of long stretches of walking this trek is suitable for experienced trekkers.

  • Altitude- 2,710 feet
  • Trek Level- Moderate
  • Region- Lonavala, Maharashtra
  • Distance- 9 km
  • Duration- 2 days
  • Start and end point- Lonavala, and Kondivade

Lohagad Trek

lohagad trek

 

Lohagad which translates to the iron fort is an easy trek, perfect for beginners. You trek through snaking trails in deep forests, cross water streams and maneuver over slippery rocks to reach the Lohagad Fort at the top. From here you can even get a glimpse of the Fort of Visapur. A 2-kilometre long trail called Vinchu Kata (tail of scorpion) leading to the fort is the main attraction of Lohagad trek.

  • Altitude- 3,389 feet
  • Trek Level- Easy
  • Region- Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Distance- 7 km
  • Duration- 1 day
  • Start and end point- Lohagadwadi
Written by Shanu on 12-Oct-2019
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